Despite the loss of two key players to season-ending knee injuries and another to an illness, the Dublin Coffman High School girls soccer team has remained among the state's elite.

Despite the loss of two key players to season-ending knee injuries and another to an illness, the Dublin Coffman High School girls soccer team has remained among the state's elite.

The Shamrocks are 5-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Central Division entering a home game Thursday, Sept. 17, against Thomas Worthington.

"This is a good group of kids," coach Marc D'Auteuil said. "To be through six games -- every game outside of our first game has been a grinder. We're still feeling our way through things, but to be 5-0-1 at this point is good."

Coffman returned a solid nucleus from last year's state runner-up squad, which lost to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 4-1 in the Division I title game.

The Shamrocks were ranked eighth in the state coaches poll last week behind No. 1 Medina.

In what might have been major setbacks for some teams, Coffman has withstood the loss of senior midfielder Hannah Lehmkuhl (left knee) and junior midfielder/forward Hayley Devine (right knee). Both sustained their injuries during the preseason.

Also out is senior midfielder Ellie Hackett, who is expected to miss about three weeks with an illness.

"It's good that we have kids that step up and maybe it's a blessing in disguise, because it's caused us to change some things around," D'Auteuil said. "It's caused us to play some kids that maybe wouldn't have gotten a lot of minutes. We're holding fort until maybe we can get Ellie back."

Lehmkuhl and Devine have been attending practices and games, providing support for their teammates.

"This is my fourth year and it's been something that has been a really important part of my high school experience, and an injury isn't gong to stop me from supporting my team," Lehmkuhl said.

Coffman has received key contributions from several players, including junior goalkeeper Mikayla Buckley, who made four saves in a 3-2 comeback win at Olentangy Orange on Sept. 10. Buckley made two saves in the closing minutes with her team protecting its one-goal lead.

Coffman trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before rallying.

Senior defender Sophia Bingaman's penalty kick with 19 minutes, 33 seconds remaining was the game-winning goal.

"We're just going to fight," D'Auteuil said.

"(Orange) is a tough place (to play and) that is a good team. I knew this was going to be a tough game. They're athletic and they work hard. To be down on two different occasions and come back, that says a lot about this team."

Sophomore midfielder/forward Abby Steiner, whom D'Auteuil calls one of best players in the state, has led the offense. She scored two goals in a 3-1 league win over Marysville on Sept. 8 and tied the game at 2 against Orange.

Steiner, who has committed to compete in soccer and track and field at Kentucky, has six goals this season.

A major goal for Coffman remains winning the OCC-Central title. Last season, the Shamrocks finished second (4-0-3) behind Olentangy Liberty (6-1). The teams meet Oct. 6 at Liberty.

"We don't play the prettiest style of soccer, but these kids grind out wins," D'Auteuil said.

Coffman's game against Walsh Jesuit has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 19, to Oct. 15.

Jerome girls start strong

The Jerome girls team is out to a good start under coach Kelly Brothers, who is in her first full season.

Brothers took over after Neal Shaffer resigned late last season.

The Celtics are 5-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.

"I'm not surprised," Brothers said of the start. "I was excited for the year to start knowing that we had some great returnees and a couple new additions that would be a big help to us."

Jerome suffered its first blemish when it tied Grove City at 2 on Sept. 10.

Deanna Prochko and Emma Sears scored, and Jess Walsh had four saves.

Erin Griffith scored in a 1-0 home win over Orange on Sept. 12.

Although she is pleased with her team's No. 2 state ranking, Brothers said it's too early to get overly excited.

"It really doesn't mean anything if we don't produce in the next few weeks," Brothers said.

"It's a cool ranking to have, but it really doesn't mean anything to us unless we come up with the results we want."

Scioto girls record early win

The Scioto girls team is 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal.

The Irish defeated West Muskingum 6-0 on Sept. 5 at home as six players scored.

Scioto has lost two players to season-ending ACL injuries in junior captains Kali Steele and Josie Wigg.

"We have been faced with a lot of challenges in the short time since the season started," coach Lucy Schmitt said.

"With a young team to start with, injuries have left us feeling a whole lot younger. The girls are progressing very well and they play better every time they step on the (field). They are exceeding the normal expectations put on freshmen and sophomores, and really stepping up when asked."